A joint is a structure where two or more bones meet and fit together. Other tissues within a joint include ligaments, tendons, cartilage, and synovial fluid. Joint problems arise when something goes wrong with any of these structures.
If a joint condition or injury is preventing you from engaging in life, Find a Doctor at Dignity Health. We offer care in all areas, and we treat joint conditions and injuries as well.
Signs and symptoms of joint conditions vary according to the specific problem. Pain is a common symptom and varies with the cause. It can feel sharp and severe or dull and achy. Other symptoms include stiffness, limited range of motion, and swelling and warmth over the joint. In fractures and dislocations, the joint may have a noticeable deformity.
Many joint conditions and injuries also affect the muscles. As a result, you may notice muscle aches, tenderness, or bruising.
Overuse injuries from repetitive motion are a common cause of problems like tendonitis and stress fractures. Overuse combined with age-related wear and tear on the joints can increase the risk of osteoarthritis.
Traumatic injuries (accidental or sports-related injuries) are the usual cause of acute injuries, such as broken bones, sprains, and dislocations.
Some conditions have precise causes. For example, gout occurs when uric acid crystal deposits form in the joint. People who develop gout either produce too much uric acid, or their body can’t flush it out as well.
Common joint conditions and injuries include:
Joint injuries and diseases can be caused by a wide variety of scenarios, each of which has different risk factors. They may include:
Preventing joint injuries involves reducing risk factors. Some steps you can take to protect your joints include:
The information contained in this article is meant for educational purposes only and should not replace advice from your healthcare provider.